presbyterian church abandoned alabama forgotten sky

Antebellum Alabama Church Abandoned

Presbyterian Church | Dallas County Alabama | c. 1850s

Deep in rural Alabama sits this incredible structure, like a dog-eared page reminding us of a very old book. This antebellum Alabama church is abandoned today but was founded in the decade just before the Civil War. Its impressive design was overseen by a skilled architect was likely built by enslaved labor from nearby plantations.

Imagine how much the world around them would change in just a few short years.

Notice the four separate entryways, required for men, women, and enslaved persons to enter separately. The small doorways to the sides of the main doors leading up to the slave gallery are still intact today but inhabited only by a large and less-than-friendly owl.

The Greek-Revival style building is surrounded by 50 graves, dating from 1843 to the most recent in 1955. The final service was held here in 1974.

My photo of the graveyard from 2014. The area was cleaned and mowed in 2019, so it looks much better than this today.

Added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1986, it is now privately owned and being looked after as best as possible by its current owners who placed a new roof on the building in the past 5 years.

The front doors have been stolen, along with some other wood, and fixtures, but the structure is largely void of vandalism or significant structural damage.

Somewhere down a dirt road far from home, something about standing here brings me a sense of connection to the people who built it. And while their lives, over 160 years ago, were obviously different than mine today, it gives me reverence to know that we stood before the same structure.


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21 thoughts on “Antebellum Alabama Church Abandoned”

      1. Is the abandoned church in Dallas County AL?
        Old church privately owned there in a little community that was Berlin.
        Near Sardis.
        I am writing a book about the area.

          1. Hi Kelly,

            I just now saw your reply.
            I will get back with you on my book.

            ASAP.

            Excited that you are interested

        1. I would be very much intrested in your book when it gets published. Please keep me informed. m.thorndike@yahoo.com
          I also wrote a book you can find it on Amazon it’s called An Unexpected Beauty, my name is Leanna Thorndike

  1. Like so many others, this church touches the heart! Beautiful gated entry and love the design of the church. Can only imagine the services and events held here. Happy it is receiving the care and love it deserves!

  2. This beautiful church is just one of “God’s awesome creations” for all to see & enjoy. God shows us his love in so many ways & this is one of them. Thanks for sharing!!

  3. So glad this treasure is being cared for! Up north where I grew up, the gallery or balcony in early churches was, in mid 20th century, used for either the choir or as seating for anyone who chose it, often for parents with infants or toddlers. Now I’m wondering if in fact they were built as slave galleries originally in those early churches.

  4. God bless you for saving the relics of our Southern past through your photography and stories.

    One favor to ask… please continue not revealing addresses or locations for these historic antiques. There are plenty of derelict drug heads out there who love tearing things down simply because somebody else admired it.

  5. Charlie E Thornton

    I have been to this Old Church and it is creepy but the day I was there is was peaceful . I just like to think about all the folks that have passed through its doors. I see a lot of old church’s and homes traveling across the state with my business. I have a very unique picture of a cemetery in Shelby County where as I was live 3 Human Apparitions show up in the last photo I took . It was a Confederate Cemetery you can see 2 soldiers and one man standing next to a Tombstone in an old suit very interesting never seen anything like it before

  6. Absolutely gorgeous. I love your pictures and wish these glorious buildings had a bit more love and care throughout the years. Always important to keep up our historical places no matter how large or small. What a great experience seeing all of these places and taking pictures of them. Great job!

  7. This church is certainly unique and also much older than many of the older churches I have seen. I loved the history,but even more,this incredible church, it’s architectural style and the entire atmosphere of the place. I so hope that whoever owns it now will continue to look after it,but also that those who are in charge of preservation for historically important buildings in the state, will spend some money on sensitive restoration before it falls apart. Thank you for sharing this splendid and unique church.

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